Yes, it is taking you longer to drive to work.
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The folks at TomTom, a tech company that feeds mapping and traffic data to smart phones and other GPS devices, came out with their annual traffic congestion study yesterday. And for the first time in a few years, congestion on Houston roads actually got worse in 2014.
According to TomTom's data, trips in the Houston area took on average 25 percent longer than they would have in completely clear road conditions. Compare that to 2013, when commutes took 21 percent longer than on free-flowing road conditions. Let's hope we don't see a commensurate rise in road-ragers.
Practically speaking, what this means for you, the average driver, is that you're likely spending many more infuriating hours behind the wheel and stuck in traffic than you used to. If your daily commute takes about 30 minutes on clear roads, that means your actual commute takes 52 minutes if you, like most of the working world, drive to and from work during morning and afternoon peak congestion hours. Per year, that's 85 hours you've wasted in traffic.
As you'd expect, Houston broke the top 20 congested cities in the United States, coming in at no. 12, behind obvious contenders like Los Angeles (no. 1), San Francisco (no. 2) and New York (no. 4). At least we're not Seattle (no. 5), Portland (no. 10) or Tampa (no. 11), all of which somehow have even worse congestion than the Bayou City, according to TomTom's data.